An important sense that we have but one that can be overlooked and not always cared for. But getting your eyes checked is a very straightforward process. And if you are in the UK, free for under 16’s.
One of the things that led me to get the girls eyes checked from a young age is the fact that my mum is short sighted and my brothers were both short sighted from a young age. I also started wearing glasses when I was around 12/13 due to short sightedness. So it seems like it runs in our family.
Before I got glasses I went through a couple of years of struggling with poor eyesight due to being scared to tell my parents. I often got lectured not to watch too much TV, not to read too much etc etc as it could affect my eyesight. (This isn’t necessarily true). So when I noticed that my vision was blurry when looking at the school board I was too frightened to tell anyone, thinking it was my fault and I was going to get told off. And I didn’t want that for the girls.
The first time I took Bee was in 2018 when she was 6. And Specsavers immediately noticed that there was a slight difference in one of her eyes and decided to do 6 monthly check ups to keep an eye on it. At her most recent eye test I commented that sometimes at the end of the day she was complaining about her eyes being sore. They took their time in checking her eyes, noticed that they were slightly worse than before and decided to issue a prescription. Even though the prescription is very small it will help her when she is watching TV or when she will be looking at the board at school.
If I hadn’t been taking her regularly I would not have known that she needed a prescription. She wasn’t complaining that she couldn’t see the TV, or that she couldn’t read things in the distance. The only recent sign was her sore eyes, but due to having more screen time during lockdown, I had just thought it was because of that.
When to get eyes checked?
Young children can get their eyes checked at the opticians but I would highly recommend that you get your children’s eyes tested at least before they go to school. They may not even realise there is a problem as for them it is ‘normal’ and they manage to adapt.
If you take children at a young age then any problems can be picked up and corrected. It will prevent them struggling in school when trying to work.
Tests are normally yearly or every 2 years. My eldest now has been moved to every 2 years as she has no issues with her eyesight and there has been no change since she has been getting her eyes checked. But I will continue to take her and will recommend she continues to go in adulthood. Eye tests aren’t just about checking sight; they are about checking the general health of your eyes and can even pick up other illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
More information about children’s eye tests can be found on the NHS Website.